Co-Design: A Process of Design Participation
The book Co-design: A Process of Design Participation discusses the early work of Stanley King and the Co-design group providing an in depth and concise description to the work of community architects and the workshops they facilitated from the 1970s.

The book is so concise in its description it provides task by task instructions to organising, facilitating and disseminating workshops, I think this is a must read for designers who undertake design workshops.

Design education needs to change to accommodate the changing role of the designer. Texts like this clearly demonstrate the complex nature of this type of work, covering organisation, skills, mindset, generative tools and more that is needed to successfully conduct a workshop. In context of the architects here, drawing people’s ideas in real time, there is a clear skill and process to doing this, covered in chapters like, ‘Anatomy of a Co-design drawing’.

Why do I think this book is so important? It shows there is so much more to the co-design workshop than meets the eye, and whilst, we do only learn through practice, I think methods like this, which are so common in our current design practice should be taught in a more in depth and pragmatic way, with a focus on the mindset ideally put on for this process. [From Sarah Drummond's Review]

Co-Design Filed under: co-design, urban planning, participatory.
 Rate this book
Guest tags and ratings are provisional. Sign in to confirm.
Two Comments
Jeff Howard on June 14, 2010 9:57pm
I picked up a used copy of this book on Amazon earlier this year after Sarah posted a detailed review (with some photos) on her blog. It's got an architectural/urban planning focus but in terms of an overview it's a fantastic model for learning co-design techniques.
richard arnott on April 8, 2013 10:32am
Although this book is really difficult to get hold of, my local library eventually tracked a copy down. I was talking to an architectural student yesterday about co-design and recommended he read this book, mainly because I'm unsure how widely these ideas have been adopted in current architectural education.

One of my favourite passages is this... "After partcipating in design, people claim a share in its success and are reminded of it daily for years. People grow to feel at one with the community, when its (architecture) reflects their shared values. Participation in (architecture) design counters alienation."

This benefits of co-design (and co-production) equally applies to service design practise.

I would add that the ideas in the book would not be revolutionary to a Service Designer today, but still I found it a worthwhile read, although I wouldn't go so far as to want to own a copy (it is out of print anyway)

Co-Design: A Process of Design Participation
By Stanley King, Merinda Conley, Bill Latimer, Drew Ferrari
Share your perspective. Does this book belong in the service design canon? What are the most important points to take away? Please share any links to reviews or other information regarding this book or its themes.
Your Name *
E-mail Address *
Check your inbox for confirmation after you submit your comment. Follow the link in the e-mail for approval. You should only need to do this once.
  1. The Context
  2. The Co-design Workshop
  3. Principles of Organization
  4. Built Examples
  5. Personal Experience and Perception
  6. Drawing in Dialogue
  7. Anatomy of a Co-design Drawing
  8. Graphic Vocabulary
  9. Drawing in Color
  10. Regional Planning
  11. Urban Design
  12. Small-Town Development
  13. Inner-City Communities
  14. Alternative Media
  15. Specific Buildings
  16. Working with Children
  17. Avoiding Vandalism through Participation
  18. The New Techniques: Gleanings from around the World
  19. What Others Say about Co-Design